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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pricks and Pain

AD is down with fever since yesterday evening. So I am at home today trying to keep a physically down but high spirited 3 year old entertained. When I realised that it may be a bit more than just fever as she was throwing up whatever she was eating, took her to the Paediatrician who apart from prescribing a few medicines, prescribed some blood tests. A petrified me shuddered while remembering the several nightmarish incidents of taking blood samples from AD in past 22 months that we've been in this city at the so-called reputed and much frequented clinics and diagnostic labs of the city. As I drove to the recommended lab, I said a silent prayer to the ALL-POWERFUL-UP-THERE, to let the blood drawing be fast and smooth and let the already sick baby not be troubled further.

As it turned out, GOD, I guess, was busy or my prayers were not weighty enough....

As I entered the clinic AD bombarded me with questions as to why we were-where-we-were and I tried to calmly explain that to cure her tummy ache and fever, some tests had to be done. She screamed a loud NOOOO and I had to almost drag a suspended-in-air kid to the reception counter where the uniformed people gave us a bright smile and a candy to my AD. To avoid recurrences of the past, I enquired whether the lab technicians were experienced to draw blood samples from kids whose veins were too fine to be detected easily. They verbally assured me of their expertise and busied themselves in preparing the bill. As an uniformed employee of the clinic accompanied me to the 'Sample Room' and explained in the local language (which I am ashamed to say I dont understand but my daughter does and hence started bawling!) about the test, I repeated my query regarding his expertise. He looked blankly at me for a second and mumbled something unintelligible and took the rubber tying band and tied it on the left arm of an almost hysterically howling child. No soft words of reassurance, no mild handling of her arm. I kept my temper in wraps. He pressed here and poked there to decipher a vein but his incompetence was too evident to be ignored. I firmly put a stop and repeated (this time sternly) whether any competent person was around , otherwise I would prefer to go to another clinic. Hearing my raised voice (probably), a confident and very busy looking lady-in-a-white coat entered the room. Without giving me a glance, she once again tied the rubber band of AD's arm. Took out a disposable syringe and got down to work, oozing confidence. I was assured. (That appearances can be deceptive, I realised much later.) Deciding not to interfere further, I tried to do my part of the work by soothing AD and distracting her from the morbid going ons.

In the next few seconds (or was it minute I dont know!) what happened shocked me at the insensitivity and lack of professionalism. The lady pricked AD deftly (it was pseudo deftness) and when no blood would come out (as it wasnt a vein at all), she continued twiggling and turning the needle under the skin making the child scream in pain. She took it out and was about to prick it at another point to continue with her trial and error mode of extracting blood, when I hollered and hollered out LOUD...thus making her stop short. I yanked the band off AD's arm and asked her to just let us go. We did not want HER or the bl***y clinic's services. I walked off with a howling, child running a temperature and in (inflicted) pain due to the incompetence and sheer callousness of a bunch of people who open fancy clinics to mint money. As I was about to exit from the premises, the receptionist returned the money I had paid. I was too angry to care ....

I went to another clinic. AD again was hysterical fearing a probable repeat act of the horrendous experience! This time luck was on our side. An expert nurse was on duty. And the whole process of blood drawing was over even before AD could fill enough air into her lungs to scream out loud! I thanked her profusely with tears in my eyes. She was too taken aback to receive my sincere gratitude for a mundane task she probably does countless times a day...

Well, God finally found the time, I guess, to receive my SOS and act upon it!!!

4 comments:

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I can sympathise with you completely. It is bad enough when a child is ill (we can see but not lessen their discomfort) but to have others add to their pain because of their ineptitude makes me MAD.

My 3-year old is still partly baby-talking, although her attitude and thought-processes are remarkably girlie-mature.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

That's really terrible! We had a similar experience with my mom-in-law who was supposed to have her gall-bladder operation. After a panel of 'experts' interviewed her in her hospital bedroom, the nurse finally came and said that the operation could not be performed that day as my MIL had a cold! Of course, that did not prevent them for charging us for the room and the 'experts' fees!!

naperville mom said...

Just dropped in to say that you're tagged:)

SGD said...

@Sucharita-You're right...kids 'mistreated' due to sheer incompetence is indeed disgusting!
You surely will miss her baby-talk...!

@Roshni-These 'experts' of the medical fraternity are nothing but a bunch of merceneries rather than the belonging to the hallowed medical professionals.
It's a shame that these 'businessmen/women' hold our lives at ransom JUST out of their greed for money

@NM-Thanks for tagging! Will surely take it up!